Daily Crunch: Facebook faces government pressure over encryption

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1. Facebook is being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan

U.S. Attorney General William Barr, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel and Australia’s minister for home affairs, Peter Dutton, have co-signed an open letter to Facebook calling on the company to halt its plan to roll out end-to-end encryption across its suite of messaging products.

Facebook isn’t the only messaging company using end-to-end encryption, but it’s in governments’ crosshairs on account of a plan to expand its use of e2e crypto.

2. Bird raises $275 million Series D round at a $2.5 billion valuation

The scooter startup’s new round comes a few months after TechCrunch reported Bird was looking to raise a Series D round at a $2.5 billion valuation.

3. Instagram launches Threads, a Close Friends chat app with auto-status

What if Instagram could automatically tell your Close Friends you’re home, working, on-the-move or chilling and might want to hang out? That’s the idea behind its new companion app Threads.

4. Startups ‘are staying private way too long’ says Salesforce founder Marc Benioff

“What public markets do is indeed the great reckoning,” Benioff said while onstage at Disrupt SF. “But it cleanses [a] company of all of the bad stuff that they have.”

5. Kitty Hawk reveals its secret project, Heaviside

HVSD (named after renowned physicist and electrical engineer Oliver Heaviside) is an electric aircraft designed to go anywhere and land anywhere fast and quietly. Sebastian Thrun’s aviation startup has been working on the aircraft for two years.

6. TikTok explains its ban on political advertising

This isn’t really a new ban, but rather a reiteration of an existing one. The company says it won’t allow ads supporting a candidate, political party or issue, because they don’t fit with the “light-hearted and irreverent feeling” that the app is aiming for.

7. Google-backed Dunzo raises $45M to expand its hyperlocal delivery startup in India

An Indian startup that is increasingly posing a threat to established food and grocery delivery businesses, as well as to e-commerce giants, just closed a new financing round.


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